A systematic method to develop work-based training for SMEs

  • Parveen Samra

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Training plays a key role in bridging employer skills needs and in raising the productivity of employees and individual firms. Many large organisations have long established in-house training programmes and the means for progressive personal development for employees. However, Smaller to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have not mirrored the same. SMEs are less likely to provide off the job training to employees because of operational demands. There is a lack of structured approach to training within a SME. Despite the vast array of training programmes available to SMEs, very little has been done to tailor the training to the specific learning needs of SMEs.

    Web Based Training Environment (WeBTiE) is a tailored online training solution specific to a SMEs’ training needs. The portal within which online training is provided is the collaborative efforts of the Employer, Employee and Training Vendor. The portal encapsulates not only the learning content, but provides the learning support necessary to guide employees through the training and reinforce work-based practises with the use of a Community of Practice. Unlike many other training models the originality of this model is that it combines Pedagogy principles in the development of the training programme, along with e-learning model, Etivities for Structured On The Job Training. The generic nature of this model allows it to be adaptable for SMEs in a variety of industries and the tailoristic feature provides the flexibility necessary to permit the adaptability.

    This thesis focuses on the barriers SMEs face when attempting to train employees. By determining employee learning and training needs and establishing a ‘Learning Foundation’, can we move forward with the development of a training programme commissioned for SMEs. The work in this research is underpinned by learning theories and online learning and the application of these (adapted if necessary) in the context of the day-to-day constraints typical of SMEs.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorRichard Gatward (Supervisor), Anne James (Supervisor) & Virginia King (Supervisor)


    • smaller sized enterprises
    • learning theory
    • SMEs
    • work based training
    • online training
    • employee training
    • online learning

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